PSVL is spot-on in eir assessment
This comment by PSVL on my post here was so salient and offered such a spot on analysis of the current situation in our communities that I wanted to pull it out and highlight it here. I mentioned in that initial post that Peter Dybing, in a fb conversation made the comment that “it’s the left in polythiest communities that are leading the way. With reactionary right wingers resisting the fundamental changes that are sidelining their narrow views.”This was part of PSVL’s response to that conversation and the whole thing may be read at the link above.
“…the left in “polytheism” has made social issues (I won’t say “social conscience” or “social justice” because I think both of those things are fundamentally positive, but the way those terms are being used by those who advocate against the ability of people to choose freely, to speak freely, and to have differing opinions is entirely contrary to those principles, in my view) the center of their movement, and have sidelined the views not of the reactionary right, but instead of anyone and everyone who puts the Deities first in their polytheism, i.e. actual polytheists. If it becomes more important to make the right friends, say the right political slogans, and condemn those whom it is popular to condemn, and all those things are understood as “leading the way,” then he’s right. If, as a result, this means that people who prioritize devotion are driven underground, and that is also “leading the way,” then he’s also right.
…I think the essential conflict is one that many of these so-called “polytheists” and many mainstream pagans can’t parse as being different. There is a monumentally gigantic difference between a parent forcing a child to do something and then punishing them for disobeying, and how that situation mirrors what the default position in monotheistic religions is, and the ways in which those devoted to particular Deities in a polytheistic context have happily and willingly accepted limitations on their lives and activities in service to their Deities in order to have better relationships with Them. It’s no different than anything else one might take an oath or a vow to do. If one is from a different country and then becomes a citizen of the U.S., there are limitations to one’s freedoms in doing so, and such an allegiance precludes retaining an allegiance to a foreign power and working as a terrorist to undermine the U.S. government, for example. Someone who enters into the vows of legal marriage and has an understanding with their partner that there is no falling in love with or having sex with other people in the context of their relationship, then those are the rules. Neither of these situations is an oppressive reality, it’s something that is freely chosen by those involved, and the benefits accruing to them due to their vows being upheld are all the more delicious (it would be hoped!) than whatever satisfaction or other enjoyments might come from breaking them. Why this is hard to understand for so many of these people is beyond me at this point, and I’m beginning to get less patient with even having to attempt explaining it to those who clearly don’t want to understand it, or understand that it is a reality for some of us that is more important than anything.”
What strikes me the most is the marked hostility toward and contempt for the Gods in so much of their rhetoric. I find it just…sad. It’s almost as though their only purpose in choosing to disrupt polytheism is so that they can work out their anger toward Divine authority by preventing anything good from being built for Them. As i said: sad.